PAT LAMOUREUX - One episode in a person's life, does not define the person.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

PTSD = Convoluted

If you understand what it is to be in a convoluted situation, then perhaps you have the basic understanding of PTSD.

Convoluted: (definition) highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious; involved; knotty; tangled; tortuous; twisted; coiled; complicated; intricately involved. (some of the definitions)

In other words, someone diagnosed with combat PTSD is in a situation that is almost impossible to get out of, especially without the proper treatment. (I will talk about the “cure” for PTSD in a minute.)

In one of my earliest blogs I quoted an army doctor who stated that one of the most important elements of treating PTSD was continuity of care.

I think that one of the multitude of things that is so hard for me to deal with in this situation, is that I trusted that when my husband admitted he needed help and sought that help from the VA, I believed he was actually receiving help.

How was I to know that it was inadequate? I ‘accepted’ that was just the way life was going to be after the war – this is now becoming known as ‘secondary combat PTSD’. Yes, I have that, plus as a result of that horrific night, I know I have my own PTSD issues.

But my husband sought help, I have the inches and inches of VA medical records to verify he did. When I look back at things now, they are much clearer than they were at the time. I was in the middle of that convoluted situation myself I guess.

What I do know is that for over the last 10 months, my husband has not received any psychological treatment from anyone; probably at a time when he needs it the most. Where is that continuity of care that a specialist in treating PTSD says is paramount in helping an individual with diagnosed PTSD?

If he was seeking treatment, and it failed – and now there is a failure for him to receive any treatment, what is that going to mean? He needs treatment, why doesn’t anybody understand or care about that?

How is this fair treatment of anyone who served our country? If he had been a ‘bad guy’ then I would understand why nobody would care – but he is not. Why doesn’t anyone care?

Now, to the “cure” for PTSD; there is no “cure”. There is hope for a better control of the thought processes, but there is no cure. The reason for that is -

The brain is an interesting organ. There are things that get trapped in there that will never leave, and then there are things that you can’t remember no matter how hard you try. (Where are your car keys?)

Do you remember when you had your first crash on a bicycle? Do you remember when you fell and broke a bone? Do you remember losing what you thought was your ‘true love’ when you were a teen-ager? Do you remember being in your first car accident? Do you remember being in a tornado when you were a child?

Yes – you do. That is because these are traumatic events that left an indelible impression on that part of your brain that won’t let go.

Now, take those memories of your earliest ‘traumas’ of your young life, and multiple them a thousand fold.

Welcome to the life of a soldier living with PTSD.

Imagine seeing body parts strewn about the ground. Imagine seeing burnt bodies. Imagine smelling burnt flesh. Imagine being faced with having someone in your gun site that you know you have to shoot at, or they will kill you. Imagine seeing the blood and guts of war. Imagine seeing your friend today and in a matter of minutes, that person is dead – sometimes right before your very eyes.

And now, go back to when you were a child and you broke that bone, had that bicycle crash, had something that you cared about slip away from you. Did it bother you that after a while nobody seemed to care? Did they tell you to ‘get over it’?

Their life went on because what happened to you, did not touch them personally. It did not leave that indelible imprint on their brain. In fact, they will be hard pressed to remember it at all in the future.

But you will remember it for the rest of your life.

Do you understand PTSD a little better now? I hope so, because you know what? I feel like I am a kid again - and nobody cares.

(click below to post a comment)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

He was happy........


He enjoyed life............

Then he went to Iraq...........

After Iraq, he wanted his life back.

But that did not happen.....

The Face of PTSD

I want you to care about PTSD



Help me bring him back home.

I cannot do it without


My battle with "Oprah Winfrey"

While tossing and turning last night, I thought I should follow up on a recommendation of trying to utilize Oprah Winfrey's network to get Patrick's message out. So I opened an account, and set up another blog, copying some of my posts from this blog.

They disappeared, not once but at least three times. Not only from the community site, but from my account. Then I get an e-mail telling me 'if you didn't write it don't post it'. It was from a human - or sorts I assume.

Here is my response to that e-mail:

In response to Harpoboard1 of Oprah Winfrey’s Organization:

While I have no power compared to Oprah Winfrey, you can rest assured I will be certain every person I know is aware that I was prohibited from trying to help save a disabled Veteran's life using Oprah Winfrey's website/network.

If I write something on another blog site and I decide I want to share it with people on Oprah Winfrey's website, who are you to tell me I can't do that? I know you looked at the other blog site, I saw you on there. Then BOOM - you take down my posts from Oprah’s website. Did you happen to notice the pictures were the same too? Surprised you didn't take my picture down too! So I can't use my own blogs from another blog on your website? That is ludicrous.

As far as the article that appeared, I gave credit to the source of the printed article. I am quoted in the article. I was given permission to use that article. How dare you tell me I cannot share that article with anyone I want to share it with as long as I give credit to the source who originally printed the article.

And I know it won't make a dent in Oprah Winfrey's pocketbook, but I will let every single person I know aware of the fact that I was not allowed to fight for the life of a worthy disabled Veteran using Oprah Winfrey's website/network.

It is MY Veteran who fought for my right to say what I want to say, and fought for MY freedom and YOURS - and it HIS life that is on the line. He stands to lose all of his rights and freedoms because he served our country - the Army failed him, the VA failed him and NOW the mighty OPRAH WINFREY has also failed him.

Oprah Winfrey's organization is a direct reflection on her. I am disgusted and appalled at the treatment I have received today as the wife of a 100% disabled Iraq War Veteran who is in the battle of his life.

People can blog about their “talented daughter”, mocha, and “are there any real Christians” but I cannot blog about my 100% disabled Combat Veteran of the war in Iraq….. Really?

I will never return to this site for any reason whatsoever, and I hope I can keep others from flocking to it as well.

SHAME ON OPRAH WINFREY and her organization for kicking a worthy combat Veteran when he is down. Every ounce of respect I had for her is totally GONE.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A phone call from Pat

Today is Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

I just got off the phone with Pat. It was a short conversation (at a dollar a minute they always are short).

He asked me about the blog. I said it’s getting a lot of hits, people are reading it. And then he said, with a tone of excitement in his voice, “Really! That’s great! That means we’ll be able to raise enough money to get all the experts we need!” to which I didn’t make an immediate comment, I didn’t really know what to say. Then he said,

“People aren’t donating, are they?”

Well folks, maybe I should have lied to my husband given his situation, but we have always based our relationship on honesty.

I said "We have received some donations, it’s going a little slower than what I had hoped for.”

Then, with the tone of excitement gone out of his voice, replaced by the sound of depression that broke my heart he said, “I was afraid that would happen, people think I’m a bad guy now and they don’t want to help me. I love you baby, I’ll talk to you later.” And he hung up.

When I started building the blog, the very first thing I built was the “Help save a Veteran’s life” part. It’s been moved around a few times, but that was the first thing I built for the blog.

That is what this blog is about. It is about saving Patrick’s life.

Freedom is not free.

Please everyone, please donate something, anything, every dollar helps.

PLEASE. We need at least $20,000 dollars, and we are a long way from being there. PLEASE help.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Veteran of Iraq shares his thoughts

Charles W. Little I, SGT (USA), (USMC sep.) said...

First, let me validate my comments. I am a combat veteran. I am an infantryman. I’ve been engaged with every weapon system the enemy currently employs. I’ve been ambushed, in firefights, IEDs, etc. I’ve been outside the wire on 300+ combat missions.

I’ve walked the very path of Pat.

The number one killer of troops in Iraq is NOT the “Hollywood” style firefights—it is the roadside bomb (IED). I think it’s so imperative for everyone to understand that Pat was in a Transportation Company, a truck driver, during the initial invasion. The convoy driver will go down in this war as the helicopter machine gunner did in Vietnam…as the workhorse…the tip of the spear.

Iraq is littered with trash. Literally, trash is EVERYWHERE, and most notably, along every street. It is very easy to hide these bombs and hence the effectiveness.

It is a maxim in Iraq when outside the wire, “…its not IF you get hit by an IED, it’s WHEN..”

Driving in Iraq requires a concentration and focus equal if not greater than patrolling dense jungle. With perpetual motion and the speed of maneuver warfare, there are no ‘rest breaks’ or security halts. It’s a constant state of vigilance. It takes an immense toll.

Pat is a very genuinely nice guy.

I know killers. I know criminals. Pat is neither of the two.

When I approached Pat and Sue and told them I was going to Iraq, Pat was visibly upset. His mood and demeanor changed. He understood why I wanted to go, but he conveyed a deep impact the war had upon him. I could tell instantly he had been tremendously affected by those experiences.

I came to appreciate that during my tenure in Iraq.

Pat did the right thing. Many of us Soldiers and Marines fight medical care. We feel it’s a stigma or that we can fix it ourselves. He sought help. Pat was under the care of government physicians.

I will leave that at that.

What happened is a tragedy. I speak as family when I say we are devastated for the families of the law enforcement that were involved.

There are many victims affected by these events. Yet, Pat is as well.

We owe our veterans more than casting myopic judgments. This is much more complex than a criminal act.

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"
"Kain-man" the jokester....

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003
"Pat is an extraordinary, thoughtful, kind and generous man...not to mention a wonderful friend, in which one could always count upon to be there when in need." (words of a long time friend)

Pat's Family

Pat's Family
Mica & Heather, grandson Kain